Examples of what families/whānau need to know about school/kura donations

What you can expect if your school/kura opts in to the donations scheme:

Key Description
X If my school has opted in to the donations scheme, I cannot be asked for a donation and I don’t have to pay
$ I must pay for this if I agree to buy it
D If my school has opted in to the donations scheme, I can be asked for a donation but I don’t have to pay


Fees for enrolment are unlawful. As enrolment is free, there can be no charge for anything associated with the enrolment process.

Item Item Category Key
Application fee Other X
Enrolment fee Other X
Out-of-zone ballot fee  Other X
Bond Other X

Operational costs

Boards cannot ask families and whānau for contributions to operational costs – these costs should be covered by the school’s operational funding, which is paid by the Ministry of Education.

Item  Item Category Key
Heating, lighting and water Operational X
Soap, hand sanitiser, tissues Operational X


Item  Item Category Key
Access to school/kura network Curriculum  X
Use of school/kura hardware Curriculum  X
Contribution towards devices such as tablets, smartphones, netbooks, laptops, Chrome Books Curriculum  X
Requiring students/rangatahi to provide software or pay for software licenses Curriculum  X
Requiring students/rangatahi to provide calculators Curriculum  X
Purchase of non-compulsory hardware or software Goods and Services $

Programmes and courses

Out-of-school extra programmes that are not part of the core learning programme (curriculum) are considered a good/service.

It should be made clear that participation is voluntary, and incurs a charge.

Item  Item Category Key
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Curriculum 


Reading recovery and learning support  Curriculum 


High school 'subject fees' Curriculum 


Specialist units (e.g. Montessori, Arrowsmith, Te Reo Māori, Gagana Sāmoa) Curriculum 


Supplementary programmes (e.g. Mathletics)  Curriculum 


STAR courses Curriculum 


Tertiary-level courses offered as part of the school programme  Curriculum  


Tertiary course (dual enrolment at tertiary institution)   Goods and Services


Gifted education programmes  Goods and Services


Resources and stationery

Item  Item Category Key
Textbooks Curriculum 


Workbooks (compulsory) Curriculum 


Workbooks (optional, when parents have agreed to purchase) Goods and Services


Photocopying/printing as part of core education programme (curriculum use) Curriculum 


Photocopying/printing (personal and not needed for core programme learning, extra-curricular use) Goods and Services


Stationery (if parents decide to buy from school/kura stationery shop)  Goods and Services



Item Item Category Key
Swimming as part of general curriculum (at school/kura or off-site)  Curriculum X
Swimming as voluntary activity (lunch time or after-hours) Goods and Services $

Course materials

Schools and kura cannot ask parents/whānau to pay for materials used in delivering the core learning programme (curriculum). This includes cooking ingredients for a food technology class.

Food eaten as part of a food technology class is part of the core learning programme (curriculum) – this is because students need to taste the food they prepare to ensure it is fit for consumption (sensory evaluation).

Schools can charge parents/whānau for the cost of materials when they have agreed that the item can be taken home – for example, an item of clothing.

Item Item Category Key
Materials used as part of delivering core learning programme (curriculum)  Curriculum X
Take-home component where parents have agreed to purchase (e.g. a letterbox or an item of clothing) Goods and Services $


Item Item Category Key
Tuition (course-related) Curriculum X
Tuition (optional outside of general education programme, extra-curricular) Goods and Services $
Instrument hire (course delivery) Curriculum X
Instrument hire (optional, extra-curricular) Goods and Services S

Optional activities

Boards can charge parents/whānau for optional activities, like sports trips, that are outside the core learning programme (curriculum). Participation is optional, and schools can charge parents/whānau if they have agreed for their child to participate.

Item Item Category Key
Visiting drama or music groups (non-curriculum) Goods and Services $
School sports teams Goods and Services $
After-hours/lunchtime/weekend culture or sports activities Goods and Services $

State-integrated schools/kura

Item Item Category Key
Attendance dues – these are compulsory Compulsory $

School and kura uniforms

Schools and kura are not expected to make profits from school uniforms – they should recover only their costs.

Item Item Category Key
School/kura uniform from a school/kura uniform shop Goods and Services $

Further guidance on school uniforms — Commerce Commission(external link)



School/kura events and publications

Students can attend this type of event if they buy a ticket. Students should not be stopped from accessing optional activities because their families/whānau have not paid for other items.

For example schools/kura should not require families/whānau to pay for sports costs or a donation towards the school camp before they can buy a ticket to the school ball.

Item Item Category Key
School/kura ball Goods and Services $
School/kura magazines are optional to buy Goods and Services $

Camps, trips and outside education

Schools and kura can continue to ask for donations for overnight school camps if they are part of the core learning programme (curriculum). Such a request is for a donation.

Families and whānau can choose to pay the donation in full, in part or not at all.

Item  Item Category Key
Overnight camp as part of specific course (e.g. Year 12 Outdoor Education)  Curriculum 


Overnight camp as part of general education programme (curriculum) (e.g. Year 9 orientation camp, Year 7 EOTC camp)  Curriculum 


Overnight geography field trip  Curriculum 


Trip/visit as part of general curriculum  Curriculum 


Charge/fee for an optional event (e.g. weekend ski trip, extra-curricular)   Goods and Services 


What is a school camp?

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